MAYOR BRONIN LAUNCHES “DON’T BLOCK THE BOX” CAMPAIGN TO CRACK DOWN ON DRIVERS WHO BLOCK INTERSECTIONS
HARTFORD, CONN. (SEPTEMBER 29, 2016) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin launched a “Don’t Block the Box” campaign to crack down on drivers who block intersections. The campaign includes enhanced awareness and enforcement of a law that prohibits drivers from entering an intersection when they will not be able to make it through before the light turns red.
“When drivers ‘block the box’ and jam up an intersection, they’re tying up a whole city and putting pedestrians at risk,” Mayor Bronin said. “This pilot program will help eliminate gridlock, keep traffic moving and make city streets safer for pedestrians. I applaud Council Chairman Clarke and Majority Leader Concepción, as well as the Hartford Police Department, for taking the lead to get this done.”
In 2009, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed – and then Gov. Jodi Rell signed into law – An Act Prohibiting Blocking the Box, allowing any municipality to adopt an ordinance prohibiting motor vehicles from stopping in a designated intersection and blocking the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians.
In 2016, Hartford’s City Council – working with Mayor Bronin and the Hartford Police Department – adopted an ordinance designating several intersections as “Don’t Block the Box” locations, subjecting violators to a $117 fine. Hartford Police will be monitoring intersections and ticketing drivers who violate the law, and the city will receive 50 percent of fees collected from offenders, excluding administrative costs.
"As always, our number one concern is safety, and that includes keeping our streets safe by maintaining the flow of traffic," said Council President TJ Clarke. "That's why the message we're sending today is simple: if you 'Block the Box,' you'll get a ticket. No matter what vehicle you're driving, you'll get ticketed, period."
“This campaign is aimed at educating commuters by increasing awareness of the dangers of blocking a busy intersection,” said City Council Majority Leader Julio Majority Leader Concepción. “By 'Blocking the Box,' not only are drivers increasing congestion, but they’re also causing a real safety concern for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. We hope this campaign serves as a small step in improving the City’s quality of life, all while keeping residents and visitors safe.”
To date, Hartford has marked the following intersections as “Don’t Block the Box” locations:
Four additional intersections are planned to become “Don’t Block the Box” locations before this winter begins, including:
“Hartford residents should feel safe while crossing the street,” added Mayor Bronin. “Stepping up enforcement of existing traffic laws will decrease congestion, improve air quality, and create better conditions for pedestrians across the city, most notably kids, seniors, and mobility impaired.”